A few weeks ago at a meeting of our local Association of Fundraising Professionals chapter, we had a panel of donors to provide insight into their giving. The last few questions focused on their suggestions for fundraising professionals. While certainly not scientific and certainly not representative of all donors, I found their feedback informative and thought you might enjoy it as well.
What recognition are you looking for and is it important to you?
The feedback on this was mixed. One family represented saw names on buildings being very appealing. Another family said that they found it completely unimportant. One person pointed out that recognition of one person / family can inspire others to give. But everyone agreed that their pursuit in giving was not of the recognition, but because it makes a positive difference in our communities.
What suggestions / expectations do you have of development officers?
- Ensure that the materials you produce match the character of the organization. It’s not important to spend money on expensive printing / production.
- Connect us to the end user so that we can see the impact of our giving
- Challenge grants are a fun way to engage us (both providing funding for the initial challenge – or providing a match)
- Mass mailings will not attract a major gift from us
- We give to organizations we are already familiar with (and rely on research from the community foundation)
What are your happiest moments related to your giving?
- Sharing stories about impact
- Recognizing that the more we give away, the more we receive (when you believe it)
- Relationships help – if it’s someone you know and trust
- The right person asking lends credibility to the cause
- With leadership giving, it’s ALL about relationships